Report on Sabancaya (Peru) — 9 December-15 December 2020
Smithsonian / US Geological Survey Weekly Volcanic Activity Report,
9 December-15 December 2020
Managing Editor: Sally Kuhn Sennert
Please cite this report as:
Global Volcanism Program, 2020. Report on Sabancaya (Peru). In: Sennert, S K (ed.), Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, 9 December-15 December 2020. Smithsonian Institution and US Geological Survey.
15.787°S, 71.857°W; summit elev. 5960 m
All times are local (unless otherwise noted)
Instituto Geofísico del Perú (IGP) reported a daily average of 54 explosions at Sabancaya during 7-13 December. Gas-and-ash plumes rose as high as 2.8 km above the summit and drifted NW, W, and SW. Eight thermal anomalies over the crater were identified in satellite data. Minor inflation continued to be detected in areas N of Hualca Hualca (4 km N) and on the SE flank. INGEMMET stated that ashfall was noted in the towns of Cabanaconde (22 km NW), Pinchollo (20 km N), and Madrigal (20 km NE) during 9-10 December. The Alert Level remained at Orange (the second highest level on a four-color scale) and the public were warned to stay outside of a 12-km radius.
Geological Summary. Sabancaya, located in the saddle NE of Ampato and SE of Hualca Hualca volcanoes, is the youngest of these volcanic centers and the only one to have erupted in historical time. The oldest of the three, Nevado Hualca Hualca, is of probable late-Pliocene to early Pleistocene age. The name Sabancaya (meaning "tongue of fire" in the Quechua language) first appeared in records in 1595 CE, suggesting activity prior to that date. Holocene activity has consisted of Plinian eruptions followed by emission of voluminous andesitic and dacitic lava flows, which form an extensive apron around the volcano on all sides but the south. Records of historical eruptions date back to 1750.